Smash Recap: 'The Only Thing Better Than Winning a Tony Would Be Beating You to Get It'

Smash - Season 2Warning: By its very nature, the following recap contains spoilers. So if you haven’t seen this week’s Smash, exit stage left and come back to this URL later. Everyone else, read on!

This week on Smash, Jimmy continued lobbying for the “Most Ungrateful Fink on TV” award, Will and Grace Tom and Julia’s friendship hit more turbulence, Derek continued to let “little Derek” do all the thinking in their partnership and Ivy Lynn got smacked with a big reason to reconsider her nude scene in Bombshell. Oh, and a bitchy showdown between Ivy Lynn and Karen? Brrrrring it!

Let’s review the key plot points fron “The Transfer”:

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MO BROADWAY, MO PROBLEMS | We opened with Hit List‘s move to the Great White Way, with Derek, Julia and Jimmy (as well as blogger types — aren’t they the worst?) all feeling like the show had lost something in the translation to a larger stage. Derek seemed to subtly blame the decline on Ana’s performance as The Diva — eventually “giving her the night off” and testing out Daisy (the charismatic Pilates instructor who’d previously accused him of sexual harrassment, then later slept with him after the Bombshell opening party). Julia and Jimmy, on the other hand, pondered the loss of intimate connection between the audience and the players. As Janet Jackson once sang, “Who’s right? Who’s wrong?

“DISGUSTING” DEREK | Fueled by Ana’s suspicions — and intel that Daisy was part of the harrassment suit — Karen confronted Derek about his real reasons for testing out Daisy. Turns out, he’d told her during thier night of passion that if Hit List went to Broadway, she could be an understudy — and Daisy filmed the whole sleazy encounter. Hello, blackmail! “I have no choice,” said Derek about his decision to give Ana a pink slip. “Yeah, Derek, you do. It’s a pretty clear choice,” said Karen, who noted her director and possible love interest was “disgusting.” (Cue the sound of a million Cartwills shippers dying inside. Not to worry! We’ll always have fan fic!) We even got to see a Karen-Daisy sing-off on a number called “I’m Not Sorry,” but it was kind of a wretched club track with silly faux-fisticuffs choreography, so I’m not sure we learned much about Daisy’s skill set. Either way, she’s too minor a character not to eventually get her come-uppance, right? Though I have to admit, it would be a bold, intriguing and wildly unexpected move if she won out in the end.

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KYLE REALLY WAS GOOD AT HIS JOB (PART 4)/JIMMY IS THE ALL-TIME WORST AT LIFE (PART 1,726) | Julia and Jimmy searched through Kyle’s old notes and stumbled across his idea to engage the audience with mid-performance text messages and Tweets and other internet-y gimmick-type things — “a multimedia assault!” as Jimmy called it. (I don’t know about you, but the cost of a Broadway ticket being what it is, I’d kind of prefer to have my phone off the whole time.) Jimmy, as per usual, acted like a spoiled 7-year-old for the whole episode; when Derek noted how Broadway’s revival of Cabaret put the audience at tables, the young alleged genius screeched, “like dinner theater?” When Julia and Derek talked about tweaking the story, he whined, “You’re not touching the book!” And when Julia finally told him that she’d agreed to help with Hit List’s Broadway transfer, but didn’t feel comfortable writing actual parts of the script, Strainedface McAwful’tude didn’t graciously thank her for all her help — and taking time out of the promotional schedule for Bombshell. Instead, he flew into a rage and dismissed her by huffing, “I get it! We’re your competition!” SERIOUSLY, I KNOW THE SMASH WRITERS LOVE AND REVERE THEIR TERRIBLE NEW CHARACTER, BUT MY GOD HE IS BEGGING FOR A COSMIC TAKE DOWN — LIKE A SINKHOLE OPENING UP IN THE MIDDLE OF TIMES SQUARE AND SWALLOWING HIM WHOLE, NEVER TO BE HEARD FROM AGAIN! (Whew! Typing in all caps is cathartic!)

THE BALLAD OF TOM AND JULIA | Eileen planned a Houston-Levitt Night retrospective of her playwright collaborators’ finest tines to drum up further support for Bombshell’s Tony Awards campaign — and Tom turned it into a full revue with a storyline and everything. Julia’s work on Hit List Bombshell, though, made her an absentee for most of the preparations. “A kid died before he was able to finish his work; as a human being I have to see it through,” she pleaded. But later, when it became evident she might not even make it to the event, Tom got deeply hurt: “The big deal is I was looking forward to one last song with my best friend and partner of 11 years. One song that shows even if we never work together again, that time meant something.” That did it. Julia took the stage for the final number — a maudlin ditty called “The Right Regrets” — and the performance ended with a hug. These two are gonna be OK! (Oh, and Eileen leaked news of the Houston-Levitt professional split, the better to drum up press for the show. Sneaky chica!)

IVY LYNN’S SECOND BOMBSHELL | Busy bee Ivy Lynn shot a Ford Fusion ad in Times Square, but was all stressed out after a thinly concealed Blind Item in the Village Voice talked about a Tony-contending starlet sleeping her way to the top, popping pills and having an affair with a former costar’s fiancé. When Agnes noted maybe Ivy Lynn should be more Norma Jean offstage, she began to have doubts about her role in Tom’s revue, and he didn’t exactly boost her confidence: “This isn’t Marilyn. Coco is a depressed, alcoholic stripper.” Uh-oh. Later, though, Eileen reassured Ivy Lynn that she need not be anyone other than her genuine self — leading to this awesome exchange:

Eileen: What I love about you is you’re never afraid to be yourself. You either go big or you go home.
Ivy Lynn: A couple of those nights I probably should’ve just went home.

And thus we got our buxom blonde singing a silly little tune called “Grin and Bare It” that reminded me of an uptempo, less-inspirational “Just Keep Moving the Line.” But, oh wait — when Ana approached Ivy Lynn at Table 46 — looking to win supporters for a possible take-down of Derek (and spilled intimate details of Ivy Lynn’s affair with Derek that she’d learned from Karen) — our former chorus girl was pissed. She stormed over to Karen and accused her of playing it “naive” and “just off the bus,” but really being “just as calculating as the next person.” (TRUE!) Karen didn’t exactly hide her own disdain for her frenemy, but Ivy Lynn got in this final shot, “The only thing better than winning a Tony woyld be beating you to get it.” OOOH GURRL! And then, for a final bit of “What the WHAT?” Ivy Lynn got a call from her doctor. “Congratulations, you’re pregnant!”

The End.

What did you think of this week’s Smash? Is Derek unredeemable now? Is Jimmy even less redeemable? Is there any way Karen ends up with either one of ‘em? And whose side are you on now that we’re back to a #TeamKaren vs #TeamIvy showdown? Sound off below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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150 Comments
  1. nautism says:

    Lol! It’s it too late to make the child Dev’s? Derek and Karen should have been the direction, but no Saffran screwed the pooch on that. I’ll miss the cast except Jeremy. It could have been a good move, but the writing was abysmal! Goodbye Smash! This Cartwills fan will never forget the season finale for season 1! “And I do know what love is”.. but they took that away.

  2. JLC says:

    Smash was officially cancelled by NBC.

  3. Romi says:

    I have to laugh when I read the comments that Karen is better than Ivy. Ivy is a mega talent and Karen can sing a pop song ok, but that’s it. With all the very talented and gorgeous people out there, it’s a mystery to me that she is on this show at all.

  4. EF says:

    I’ve watched each episode and probably would continue to do so — I’ve been entertained. But let’s be honest, the framework/setting of the show is fantastic. The actors range from fantastic (Tom, Eileen, Derek) to awful (Karen and Jimmy hold only 1 expression each). The storyline…not good. The idea that a man being sued for sexual harassment would turn around and not only sleep with one of the accused….but then make a professional promise to boot? Derek might be a horn-dog, but I didn’t think him to be that stupid. Anyway, it’ll be fun to see where some of these actors end up.

  5. Myokie says:

    We’ll never know who wins the TONY because there will probably be a city-wide black out just as the winner is about to be announced. I’m not sure which is more sad – the fact I am posting or the fact that I read all the other replys. The show is boring – Who cares about big baby Jimmy, or boo hoo the Diva is getting a raw deal, or Juila can’t make up her mind what she is doing tomorrow or if Tom finds someone new to sleep with or if Karen’s botox finally wears off and she can achieve a facial expression or who is Ivy’s baby daddy. The show is canceled, which is deserved but too bad – it didn’t have to go downhill so fast – but if you bring in a bad writer team and take a completely different direction with the show – what you wind up with is a scrambled hot mess.

  6. Cala says:

    I adore Megan Hilty and think she is fabulous, but I’m team Karen all the way. Ivy was a sneaky, backstabbing, vindictive little bitch all through season one. She got the role originally, and then tried to have Karen tossed out of the ensemble on her butt! She stole numbers from her, she was just awful. Then she pulled that unprofessional stunt by being drunk on stage, and then slept with Dev. Really?! She has to pay for that! I also don’t really like her Marilyn. It just feels too stereotypical to me. She was more than just a breathy sexpot.

    I think Karen will win best actress, and Ivy will get best supporting for the other show she did that closed. Best musical, Bombshell, best book, Hit List.

    Didn’t I see a picture of the Hit List poster with Derek’s name blacked out? I’m pretty sure I saw that somewhere, so maybe they let Derek go over this blackmail thing.

    • Dave says:

      I find it fascinating that most people who are #TeamKaren also praise Ivy’s talents but those in #TeamIvy bad mouth Karen and say how bad she is….just saying

  7. manylayers says:

    i’m sorry this show was cancelled. I enjoy the characters (with the solid exception of Jimmy) and find the relationships and tangles fascinating. Is it too much to hope that a cable channel will pick up the show”?

  8. SwervinnnJ says:

    Alright, where to start…….Why so much hate for Kat? She is extremely talented. As for her acting, she was nominated for her role on smash, but Ivy wasn’t (To be fair this was the Teen Choice Awards). You all also like to compare Ivy as more Marilyn then Karen, and also a better fit to play her. To all you nay-sayers (That Karen isn’t Broadway enough to play Marilyn)I say Marilyn wasn’t Broadway either. As for the show Derek preferred Karen because she was more Norma Jean then Ivy, and you saw how Norma Jean became Marilyn, without losing sight of who Norma jean was, Ivy was Marilyn (Butthole Tom’s girl). TONY SHOWDOWN: It is obvious that Karen will win the Tony, she didn’t get the coveted role of Marilyn, so she gets the Tony, but the writers couldn’t possibly write a show where the original show didn’t get the tony. It’ll win best musical. The writers; Kyle and Jimmy win, but Julia shares the award because she was a dramaturg. Then Tom wins best director, and Derek might get something for choreography in either show. As for Jimmy; I understand that everyone thinks he is just an extremely sucky piece of crap, but you wouldn’t be angry at the world If you had been beaten by your dad? And then dragged into the drug ring by your brother? So cut him some slack. Plus we can see that he is transforming since Kyle’s death, his sole focus is making sure Kyle’s baby (Hit List) is the best it can be. He is different now, and as for his spat with Julia, he was upset that she would stop helping him because they’re “Competition” (even though Julia’s name is on the show as dramaturg), simply because he wants her help to make Kyle’s baby great. A rather noble tantrum, eh? So, piece out girl scout. ( I almost forgot to mention that, even though I’m Team Karen, you’d be freaking stupid if you didn’t think Megan Hilty was extremely talented.)

  9. Kim S. says:

    Katherine McPhee has an amazing voice, no doubt about that, but she is an awful actress. If the writers really thought that the viewers would see Jimmy as nothing less than insufferable, then they completely misfired.

  10. Fi says:

    Karen is just boring and always had been. Ivy has been the great one. Derek always ended back with her when he needed someone, even when she wasn’t be his muse. She knows him and suprisingly still wants him. They need to end up together, raising little Derek and living on Boradway

  11. SDWop says:

    The show has always been confusing to say the least. The plot for Bombshell was never clear, the songs always changed and didn’t have a coherent theme, and Hit List started out with powerful ballads and ended up with crappy songs. The song “I’m Not Sorry” was so terrible I muted it… The dancing was foul too so I just skipped that part since I was watching it via Hulu.

    The show lost its momentum in keeping us interested long ago. Characters would have epic arguments and then magically repair their relationships in one episode. Sorry Smash writers, if someone got fired for no reason, or was dating a guy who had a fake name and lied about his past, it would take that person longer than a week or two to recover and forgive completely.

    If we knew what bombshell’s plot was and it was really amazing, then maybe the audience could get behind it. That would bring me back to it more than cat fights and drama. I could just watch a soap opera for that.

    Hit List was supposed to be so deep and powerful, according to Karen as she was pushing for it… Then we find out the story is about a spoiled rich girl wanting fame, and squaring off with an equally entitled girl to get it. Doesn’t exactly put The Diary of Anne Frank, Les Miserables, or Rent to shame.

    Smash ended up being a glorified soap opera with no coherent theme or plot. I am ambiguous about its cancellation, which goes to show how powerless the shows writing and acting was.

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